Obama, Clinton nostalgic in closing campaign swing
It’s nostalgia time.
President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton campaigned together in New Hampshire on Sunday, and both men appeared wistful and nostalgic as one wrapped up his final campaign and the other returned to a state that made his own White House career possible.
“Twenty years and nine months ago, New Hampshire began the chance for me to become president,” Clinton told a crowd of some 14,000 in Concord.
“It’s no secret that I never tire of coming here, that I never forget anything that happened here, that I’m still looking for someplace I haven’t yet been.”
Obama has relied heavily on Clinton in the final weeks of his campaign.
The former president, whose relationship with Obama was strained after his wife Hillary’s unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination in 2008, has done more than two dozen political events for Obama’s re-election.
“The only Clinton working harder than him is our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. And I’m so grateful to both of them,” Obama said at the top of his remarks.
Obama is more than grateful. He has relied on Clinton not only as a surrogate, but also as an example of the policies he hopes to promote in a second term. That has earned the 42nd president a permanent shout-out in the 44th president’s final campaign stump speech.
“President Clinton’s economic plan asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more so we could reduce our deficit and invest in the skills and ideas of our people,” Obama said.
“By the end of President Clinton’s second term, America created 23 million new jobs, and incomes were up and poverty was down, and the deficit had become the biggest surplus in history.”
Obama’s nostalgia extended past wistfulness for the 1990s. Aides said he was soaking up the final days of what will be, win or lose, his last campaign for public office.
“There is a recognition among the president, among the staff who have been closely working for him, that we’re a family — this is a family, and there are a lot of laughs, and a lot of nostalgia to all the ups and downs, the incredible roller coaster that this journey has been,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One.
“These will be the last reelection rallies, reelection events, times working the rope line for his own campaign that he’ll ever do. And I think he’s really taking in the moments and taking in the times he has backstage with the introducers, and the conversations he has along the rope line, and really helping that bolster him through the final days.”
(Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert)